By Rafiq Vayani
AL AIN: Adventure Emarat, a UAE-based dynamic group of amateur hobby hikers, has found a novel way to commemorate Pink October to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy and fun lifestyle in preventing breast cancer.
On October 25, the group has organized a day hike at Green Mubazzarah, Al Ain, followed by an awareness session by Mubarak Medical Centre in Al Ain, which has also volunteered to conduct a free blood-sugar and blood pressure check-up of all participants. This will be followed by a short talk on nutrition and risk factors for breast cancer that can be controlled by making healthy lifestyle choices. A session of meditative relaxation and family fun games conclude the day’s activities. The hike will take place between 7am and 12.30pm. The awareness session, other activities and family fun will start at 1pm and conclude at 6pm. Those interested in the hike can register on Adventure Emarat Meetup page, or facebook page.
Adventure Emarat, which was started three years ago by Dubai-based professionals Ajay Sikriand Sunil Bhalla, plans to launch their seasonal day hikes with the event.
Maryam Khorshidiyeh, a banker, and the team leader for the Pink Day, said: “Adventure Emarat has among its members breast cancer survivors who, in fact, timed their surgery between hikes. There are also a couple of members currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. This is our way of sharing their inspirational storiesand show support. No one should feel that they are alone when battling breast cancer.”
Lulua Faizullabhoy, a breast cancer survivor and a member of Adventure Emarat, says that she was inspired to share her story about her battle from being able to barely walk a kilometre to climbing a mountain in four months. “Doing something small every day made me stronger gradually,” says the climber, who is scheduled to speak at the event.
Research shows that lifestyle modifications and small changes in daily habits could help to reduce the postmenopausal breast cancer cases by up to 34 per cent . This means that prevention strategies and behaviour modification can make a significant difference in fighting breast cancer
The day hike, is scheduled between 7am to 12.30pm on Friday, October 25, 2019, takes place at Al Ain’s Green Mubazzarah, located at the foothills of the grand Jebel Hafeet Mountain. Dotted with natural hot springs from deep underground, the desert oasis has beautiful lawns, flowing streams, a man-made lake, spas and chalets. The family gathering follows and includes even those who may not have joined the hike.
Ajay Sikri said: “We’re a family-friendly group consisting of outdoor adventure enthusiasts. Some say we’re a family. We always ensure full safety protocol while taking off on various excursions such as trekking, hiking, snorkelling, mountain biking, camping, canyoning, off-roading, Yoga, wall climbing and trail running. A sense of community and togetherness is essential to our group.”
The group has supported community efforts in beach cleaning, and wadi cleaning in the past. Sunil Bhalla said: “Conducting an information and awareness session is a first for us. We’re planning more activities that help us give back to the UAE community. The Pink Day one such step.”
Dr. Abeer Tawfiq of Mubarak Medical Centre in Al Ain, said: “Not being physically active, being overweight, particularly after menopause, a diet high in processed meats, and hormonal shifts, are all modifiable risk factors for breast cancer. We are happy to partner with Adventure Emarat to spread the message on the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices.”
To participate in the hike, members of public can read more at the event’s Adventure Emarat Meetup page. It is classified as Grade 2, intermediate, in terms of difficulty. Families and children (accompanied by parents) are welcome. Entry to the awareness raising component of the event is open to all. However, those planning to join the hike must complete the one-time membership documents that contain, among other things, important medical details and emergency information.